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Liverpool legend - Balotelli signing a ‘no brainer’

The Italy international striker can count a five time league winner as being in his corner once his switch to Liverpool is confirmed.

Two of English football's top defenders had their say on Liverpool's impending purchase of Milan striker Mario Balotelli, and amidst the many opinions on the £16 million move, some suggesting it's great business, some urging caution, they were uniform in their praise of the deal.

Having featured for Manchester City from 2010 to 2013, the Italian returned to Italy last January, and despite initially impressing at the San Siro, has now been allowed to sign for Liverpool.

Speaking on BBC's Football Focus, both Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson and Arsenal great Martin Keown thought it looked like not only a great piece of transfer business, quoting the fees paid for other strikers in England this summer, but also the perfect individual to excite and energise both the Anfield fans and the team itself.

"They're all saying he'll upset the dressing room," said Lawrenson, who won five league titles in seven years at Liverpool. "Footballers and players who play with Balotelli absolutely love him because he's a bit mad. 

"For the money and where he plays, and the alternatives he can give Liverpool, it's an absolute no brainer.

"It's exciting, everything about him. He will settle down at some stage. Shane Long cost £12 million, what's the worst that can happen?"

Arsenal favourite Keown, part of the Invincibles side of 2003/04, was equally excited about the impending  arrival of Balotelli, saying: "I think this is a fantastic signing. Did you see the reaction of those Liverpool fans? They were energised last year and they need to keep that going.

"The manager [Rodgers] believes he can deal with problem players. He [Balotelli] has got that arrogance and Rodgers thinks he can get the best of him, he's done that with Sturridge when he came in there. It's a great marriage"

Of course, all of the debate regarding the 24-year-old's return to the Premier League is merely talk, the final say will be down to the Italian international, and what he does on the pitch.

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